A BRAND new Royal Navy research vessel could end up being named Boaty McBoatface - after more than 27,000 people voted for the name in an online poll.
The £200 million ship will set off for Antarctica in 2019, and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invited the public to submit ideas for the name it should bear on its hull.
James Hand, who suggested Boaty McBoatface, described it as ‘an absolutely brilliant name’.
Other nominations included RRS (Royal Research Ship) David Attenborough, RRS Usain Boat (geddit?), RRS Ice Ice Baby, RRS Pingu and RRS It’s Bloody Cold Here.
The nomination for RRS Henry Worsley - after the explorer who died attempting the first unassisted solo crossing of the Antarctic in January - is currently in second place with around 2,400 votes.
Once completed the ship, funded by the Government and under construction at Cammell Laird shipyard, Merseyside, will be deployed on research missions to the Arctic and Antarctic and be able to spend up to 60 days at sea.
The NERC has asked for the names suggested to be inspirational, such as a historical figure, landmark or movement, and not names of ships which already exist, such as Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Mr Hand, a former journalist, has ‘apologised profusely’ to the NERC for his suggestion.
Entrants can suggest as many names as they wish, with a short explanation why, at nameourship.nerc.ac.uk by April 16, with NERC due to make the final decision.